SOME OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE VALUE
OF THE PACKARD HUMANITIES INSTITUTE
SAHIDIC CD VERSION
This entire page is copyrighted © 2011, Mr. Gary S. Dykes
In 1997 I required a digital Sahidic text of the Pauline epistles. I rented that one which the PHI folks provided. I was told it was a dependable text based upon reliable transcriptions - in the case of the Pauline epistles, the Beatty materials produced by Sir Herbert Thompson.
I received the CD and began to use it, but soon discovered that it had been altered, the text was not perfectly following the Thompson transcription!!
I contacted the folks at PHI, and they reaffirmed that the CD was based on Thompson's work, as they were apparently unaware of any complications.
Below is a copy of the FAX they had sent me, it also includes a copy of the font exchange tables for the CD. (the next three images are of the FAX):
page 2 follows below:
page 3 follows below: This is the page in which Brakke states his sources:
Note, that Brakke clearly indicates that Thompson was the source.
So I contacted the supervisor of the project Dr. Bentley Layton. He kindly replied, sending back a copy of my letter which he had also faxed to Brakke. Layton's brief reply is below in the next two images:
Dr. Layton's note/reply is on the very bottom in blue ink on the right. In it he seems to avoid any responsibility, and refers me to the "proof-reader" who was at the time, David Brakke. Below is a another image of this same letter from Layton, with the envelope:
Now I am a bit frustrated, so I wrote to David Brakke, and he kindly responded below:
An interesting reply! In it we learn that the text had been altered by Bentley Layton and David Brakke. Their changes from Thompson are NOT documented! And purchasers of the CD have no warning that the text(s) are altered!
The reading at Romans 16:25 is not an accidental error, it reflects and intentional altered reading. We may observe another example: at I Corinthians 1:3, the PHI text reads "our Lord" whereas Thompson reads "the Lord".
The St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society CD copy of Thompson is also not dependable. In light of all of this, it is absolutely recommended that those requiring a genuine text of a manuscript, or one which is validated, to download and use the Thompson work, and NOT transcriptions or copies thereof.
If Brakke thinks that Horner's conjecture (at Romans 16:25) reflects the accurate text of current scholarship, then I would question that scholarship!
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